This year has created a shift in the way we participate in yoga and other fitness activities. With classes moving to an online format, it has been easy to let the commitment we have to our wellness routines slide. But there are so many reasons why maintaining a regular yoga practice should stay at the top of our priority list this summer, and here are my top four!
- Yoga supports both physical AND mental wellbeing. The word yoga means “to unite”, and as we move through a yoga practice we apply focused breathing to draw us into present moment awareness. When we are present and connected to what we are doing and feeling, the stresses of our past and the worries of our future dissolve, as we are fully in the here and the now. Yoga provides the mental decompression we all need right now, and is as good for the mind as it is for the body.
- Yoga supports immune health. Every yoga practice includes an aspect of rest, and rest is imperative to the health of our immune system. With busy lives and the additional pressure of the pandemic, we are spending much of our time in a stress state or fight or flight. Living “in stress” can impact our sleep, increase anxiety, and is one of the leading causes of illness. By taking the time at the beginning and end of class to consciously rest, the body shifts into a state of healing and gives a much needed boost to our immune system.
- Yoga keeps our bodies young! As we age the soft tissues of our body become dehydrated and in turn less mobile. Overtime we notice its more difficult to pick something up off the floor, retrieve an item from a high shelf, or even put on our socks! Yoga postures offer variation in movement, exploring all ranges of motion through the joints, and provides healthy compression which lends to our tissues staying hydrated, supple, and moving with ease. Movements that support mobility and joint health, coupled with strengthening postures and stretches that keep us flexible contribute to feelings of vitality and youthfulness!
- Yoga compliments all of our favorite activities and helps maintain balance. Whether you are a runner, cycler, golfer, gardener, or weight lifter, yoga can help to balance out some of the repetitive movements or postures that we hold when we participate in the activities we love. Practice yoga to eliminate the stiffness that can be felt after indulging in your favorite activities so you always feel amazing in your body and can continue to thrive in your sport or activity of choice.
Lindsey Park, EYR
Yoga Director at Bliss YogaSpa